All London Noble wanted out of her senior year of high school was anonymity. The complete opposite of Jasmine, her emotionally unstable baby sister, London has worked hard to stay out of the spotlight.
Then she discovers that Wade, one of the most popular guys in school, is gay like her and their new-found closeness based around their shared secret has half the student body convinced they're hooking up...and a lot of girls aren't happy about it. Now she's been dubbed "Dirty London." Rumors are flying about her inability to keep her clothes on, and London is pretty sure she's developing a crush on the one girl who sees through it all.
If she could admit why stealing boyfriends is the last thing on her mind—not to mention find out what's going on with Jasmine and her rapidly disappearing psych medications—her life would be a much brighter place. But if her and Wade's truth gets out, and if she doesn't find a way to help her sister, London faces losing a lot more than her obscurity.
Dirty London is a different kind of coming of age story, because London needs to find herself again, deal with those who might not accept her, and fight to get her confidence back.
My Dirty London review:
I can’t even tell you how much I loved Dirty London! It is well written, and London is a great character to follow through her journey to accept herself, to find herself and to make sure her last year of high-school won’t be wasted trying to never be noticed. Written in first person present tense, with some added information through London’s blog posts that she uses as her diary, I felt like I got to know her very well, and I couldn’t help but want to cheer her on when she finally was able to let go of her past hurts and start acting the way she wanted once more.
At the beginning, Dirty London shows London in class, where she is secretly crushing on Mara. When Mara asks her to join the drama club, she isn’t sure she really wants to – that is not a way to stay unnoticed by everybody at school after all. Her insecurities are quickly put aside, though, when she realizes she might not be as alone as she thinks she is, and it’s a gay pride parade and market that helps her to start the journey to become her own woman again.
The relationships between the students at London’s high-school were very realistic, rumors, judgemental people and the way everybody is just trying to fit in made Dirty London a great story. London does have a lot on her plate, too, knowing she is gay even if she has never been with a girl is just her normal. Even if her her own sister doesn’t want to spend time with her, she always tries to be there for her anyway. After their parents’ divorce, Jasmine has continued to spend time with their dad, even if he has a problem with addiction. And London wants to make sure that Jasmine is safe and happy, but there really isn’t much she can do to help her out until she actually wants to be helped.
As London opened up to her new friends, I loved seeing how caring she was, and especially when it came to Wade and his own closeted existence as a gay boy in a school where everybody seemed to be very close-minded. Dirty London is a must-read if you want to read a realistic fiction about a strong girl who has everything going for her. The way London dealt with the haters was spot on and she is definitely a character worth to get to know.
Some of my favorite Dirty London quotes:
Our suffering, our happiness, is never eternal. I see things for what they are. Bad shit happens to good people and vice-versa. Some days are harder than others. I sit among my peers fully aware that I’m different.
But I refuse to think that there’s anything wrong with me. I am normal. I am a human being just as deserving of love and happiness as the next person. No, I am not the problem.
High school is nothing like junior high. Junior high involved me being bold and bright and outgoing. Here at Maple Burrow, it’s all about blending in and keeping my head down.
What I wanted wasn’t a group of people like me, but a group of people who accept me.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2015 TBR Pile Reading Challenge
- Bookish Resolutions Challenge 2015
- LGBT Challenge 2015
- Winter COYER 2014 2015